Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed.
There are several types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis also known as "cradle cap" in infants, are the most common types that affect children. Eczema, especially atopic dermatitis, often appears in the first six months to 5 years of a child's life.
Daily bathing and moisturizing is key to treating baby (infantile) eczema (atopic dermatitis). Use a mild cleanser and warm water. After a bath of no more than 15 minutes, rinse completely, gently pat your baby dry and apply a fragrance-free cream or ointment such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline), while the skin is still damp. Moisturize at least twice a day, perhaps at diaper changes. When trying a new moisturizer, test it on a small area of the child's skin first to make sure it's well-tolerated.
There is no sure way to prevent baby eczema. It does help your baby to keep the skin well-moisturized, even if no rash is obvious.